The American International School of Muscat (TAISM) hosted the South Asian Inter-Scholastic Association (SAISA) Regional Girls Soccer Tournament at its campus in Ghala, Feb 9-11. Visiting teams represented schools from Nepal, India, Jordan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
This year, the TAISM Eagles played the ASB (American School of Bombay) Eagles in the Final Round, and won 1st place in the tournament. The whole TAISM Community came to cheer on their girls team, and rejoiced when the final goal - a penalty kick - was made in overtime.
While it’s fun to compete and aim to bring home a trophy, the SAISA organizing committee has a higher-level mission in mind for all participating student athletes: “As educators committed to the ideal of realizing the full potential of each student, we believe the fundamental aim of SAISA is to promote the values of collaboration, creativity, sportsmanship, and fair and ethical competition.”
The mission and vision continues, “While acknowledging the notion of ‘winning’ in sporting events and other competitions, a recognition more important is that students come together to participate in various activities in the truest spirit of cooperation and competition, and develop physically, emotionally, creatively and intellectually through the sporting, academic and artistic experiences themselves.”
“Our team handled adversity and even some injuries this season, but we persevered through and played our best,” says Sofiya Zobairi, a 10th grade student at TAISM and member of the TAISM Eagles Girls Soccer team. “We’re so happy to see our work paid off!”
“We’re very proud of our girls soccer team, and of all the positive sporting behavior we witnessed from the students at the tournament,” explains Dr. Kevin Schuttinger, High School Principal at TAISM. “Each team played their best and we saw plenty of teamwork, encouragement of others, and passion for soccer over the weekend.”
“After three long years hiatus from this event, it was spectacular to have the tournament back on TAISM pitches,” says Kelly Lang, TAISM’s Athletics Director. “All the friendships made, and the learning about the game will not soon be forgotten by all the participants, of that I am sure.”
"It was a wonderful opportunity for the teams to learn how to play competitive soccer and grow as athletes and teammates,”says Head Coach Michael Levvaseur. “I am incredibly proud of our girls for their determination and positive attitude throughout the tournament!"
TAISM’s Track and Field team (including both Middle and High School athletes) flew to Chennai, where they took first place overall. The Boys Basketball team traveled to Mumbai, where they placed 4th overall. But the memorable parts of the event were during the awards ceremony, when S-pins were handed out. As a SAISA Tradition, S-pins are given by students to members of other teams who demonstrated exemplary behavior towards others, or showed attributes like perseverance or collaboration throughout the weekend. Sometimes these awards are more meaningful than the gold medals received by athletes.
Through TAISM’s participation in the SAISA League, Middle and High School students have the opportunity throughout the school year to travel internationally and participate in events such as swimming, volleyball, basketball, soccer, track and field, tennis, badminton, art and music.
The American International School of Muscat (TAISM) pursues academic excellence for students in the international community through an American-based education that develops ethical, responsible, and globally conscious life-long learners. For more information about the student experience at TAISM, please visit www.taism.com.